U18 Launchpad – The First Startup Accelerator for School Students in India

The first batch of ThinkStartup U18 Launchpad begins, Venue IIT Delhi

New Delhi: The U18 Launchpad by ThinkStartup, first of its kind program for high school students in India, kicked off on 30th May 2022. The program is being held at Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi and was inaugurated by Prof. V Ramgopal Rao, former Director of IIT Delhi in the august presence of Col. A K Pokhriyal, CEO, Management Entrepreneurship Professional Skills Council under Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.

In a first of its kind initiative, select group of 32 school students from all across the country are working day and night over a two-week period to build and launch their dream startups. The program is highly selective and offers a rigorous new venture building experience for young entrepreneurs who are studying in schools. Sneha Sinha, one of the selected participants from Billabong High School, Bhopal said, “I am very excited about attending this program, as you get to work with top professors of IIT Delhi and leading startup experts”.

Speaking at the inauguration of U18 Launchpad, Prof. V. Ramgopal Rao, said, “This is a unique initiative where school students work with IIT faculty and startup mentors to launch their dream ventures”. He further said, “U18 Launchpad is a collaborative effort to support motivated bright school students with their innovation ideas”.


Col Pokhriyal, CEO, MEPSC, said, “Somewhere, out there right now, there are a handful of young people preparing for the next big thing. They are tearing things apart, creating apps and videos, tinkering and dreaming about what the world needs in the next few years. U18 Launchpad is path-breaking initiative that supports such ambitions. We hope to see the next Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg coming out U18 Launchpad”.

Shivani Singh Kapoor, Cofounder, ThinkStartup said, “After the huge success of Youth Ideathon in 2021, we kept exploring the best ways to nurture the startup ideas of young school students further. Today we are happy to state that we have been able to bring together support from some of India’s leading institutions, globally renowned faculty and mentors and state of the art labs to help students develop their entrepreneurial ideas”.

Sanjeeva Shivesh, Program Director of U18 Launchpad said, “Inspired by the Startup India and Atma Nirbhar Bharat vision of our honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi, U18 Launchpad endeavours to work with school students to help them find new solutions to problems faced by society. It is for the first time that school students have got an opportunity to learn secrets of design, innovation and entrepreneurship from IIT professors. It is a rigorous program involving lecture sessions, one on one mentoring and access to Makerspace facility where students can build prototypes, all this in two weeks.”.

U18 Launchpad is a new form of exciting experiential learning for talented school students offered by ThinkStartup’s experienced team with leading industry experts along with IIT Delhi’s faculty, mentors, and labs for high quality prototyping, product development, startup building and showcase to investors and lead customers. The program also involves engagement of PhD Scholars, Post Graduate and Undergraduate students of IIT Delhi as mentors to school students. The first batch of U18 has students working on cutting edge products such as hovercraft bike, sealant for gas pipelines for hydrogen gas transportation, school meals, learning app for hearing impaired, financial literacy for school students, mental health and loneliness, sustainability, career counselling and mentoring for school students and several such ideas.



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